The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie
By Donald L. Maggin
(It Books, Paperback, 9780060559212, 464pp.)
Publication Date: April 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Dizzy Gillespie secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. More important is that he was one of its great innovators. As a primary creator of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice changed the way improvisation was fundamentally done. And by combining electrifying musicianship, infectious warmth, and rare comedic skills, he achieved a worldwide popularity few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed.
This is the enthralling saga of Dizzy Gillespie -- a chronicle of the rise of a jazz genius from the lowest rung of the social order to the highest pinnacle of respect and ability that brings Harlem's golden after-hours era, the raucous 52nd Street scene, of the forties, the barrios of Havana and Rio, the White House, and the world's great concert halls to glorious life.
Donald L. Maggin is the author of Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz. A writer and businessman, he has produced jazz concerts by such artists as Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Roland Hanna, Eubie Blake, and Roberta Flack. He was a board member of the American Jazz Orchestra, served in the Carter White House for three years, is an editor of the literary journal The Reading Room, and is a trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.